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What is Rapamune?

Rapamune is a prescription medication that is used to treat lymphangioleiomyomatosis and is used alongside other medications to prevent organ rejection following a transplant. Rapamune contains the immunosuppressant sirolimus and works by weakening the immune system which helps the body accept a new organ.

Make sure to always read the patient information and instructions before using this medication. Always follow your doctor’s directions.

  • Rapamune can be taken with or without food but should be taken in the same way each time.
  • If you also take cyclosporine, it should be taken at least four hours before Rapamune.
  • Swallow this medication whole without chewing or crushing.
  • You may need frequent medical tests while taking this medication.

Cautions

Tell your doctor and pharmacist:

  • About your drug and other allergies.
  • If you take any other prescription or over-the-counter medications.
  • Your medical history particularly of lung transplants, liver transplants, liver disease, skin cancer, cytomegalovirus (CMV), high cholesterol, or triglycerides.
  • If you have a family history of skin cancer.

You should also know:

  • Rapamune should not be taken during pregnancy. Use effective birth control while taking this medication.
  • Do not breast-feed while taking Rapamune.
  • This medication should not be taken by anyone younger than 13.
  • Rapamune can increase the risk of skin cancer. Avoid sunlight and tanning beds and wear protective clothing and sunscreen while outdoors.
  • This medication lowers your immune system. Avoid people who are sick or have infected.
  • Avoid ‘live’ vaccinations while taking Rapamune.

Side Effects of Rapamune

Common side effects of Rapamune include but are not limited to:

  • Headaches.
  • Cold symptoms including sneezing, sore throat, and stuffy nose.
  • Fever.
  • Stomach pain and diarrhea.
  • Nausea.
  • Mouth sores.
  • Chest pain.
  • Acne.
  • Dizziness.
  • Muscle aches.

Get medical help if you have any of the following side effects of sirolimus:

  • Tenderness around the transplanted kidney.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sudden chest pain or discomfort.
  • Slow wound healing, redness, or oozing.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • New skin lesions or changing of size or color in a mole.
  • Coughing.
  • Signs of a brain infection including weakness in one side of the body, walking problems, speech problems, decreased vision, or changes in your mental state. These symptoms may start slowly and worsen quickly.
  • Signs of low red blood cells including shortness of breath, pale skin, unusual tiredness, cold hands, and feet, or lightheadedness.
  • Signs of infection including cold or flu symptoms, skin sores, mouth sores, fever, chills, or painful or burning urination.
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling in your face, lips, or throat.

FAQs

What should I do if I miss a dose of Rapamune?

If you miss a dose of Rapamune, you should take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, then skip your missed dose.

What is the strength of Rapamune?

Rapamune and the generic alternative sirolimus are both available in strengths of 1mg. Only the brand name Rapamune is available in 0.5mg and 2mg strengths.

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